A Change of Pace

Work has changed the way I do photography. Having just started a year-long placement, I am working 8 hours a day, leaving me with only the evenings and weekends to shoot and edit my images. This means that I often can’t edit my images straight after shooting them. When taking into account other hobbies and commitments, I often don’t get round to editing an image until at least a few days after it’s been shot – maybe even as long as a week. The strangest thing is, I’m beginning to quite like this pace.

I find that leaving the images for a week or so before editing them makes the process much more enjoyable. I won’t always leave them for this long – sometimes I get so excited about an image that I simply can’t wait to start working on it – but when I do, it makes the editing feel fresh and independent of the shooting. This, in turn, allows me to discover the images in a way that I would never have done had I been blinkered by the lingering thought from the shoot.

Trees on a Hill, 01
Trees on a Hill, #01

That’s exactly what I did with these images from a trip to Skipton a couple of weeks ago. The delay between shooting and processing allowed me to approach the images with a fresh mind, and work with them much more thoughtfully.

Trees on a Hill, 02
Trees on a Hill, #02

Plenty of times I have gone out for a shoot and come away disappointed, before angrily formatting my camera’s SD card. Although I don’t like to admit it, the times when I do come away with nothing are frustrating, and it is hard to think calmly in that state of mind. If I leave the images, however, and come back to them a week or two later, that frustration and anger has melted away, and I can look at the image with a new pair of eyes.

Revisiting

Many people love the excitement of exploring new places. I do too, but what I love most is coming back to a place I have already visited ten, twenty, or a hundred times before. This is obvious from my repeated photographs of the two cairns on Skipton Moor, but that is not the only place in Skipton I keep coming back to. I don’t get to go home too often now that I’m starting a placement, but when I do get the chance I make sure to visit the woods.

At the end of that walk I come to Chapel Hill, and on that hill sits a lonely tree. I first photographed it in December of 2016. Over half a year has passed since then. The tree now bears leaves, but its form remains unchanged.

Chapel Hill Tree, Skipton, 03 (Flickr).jpg
Chapel Hill Tree, #03

The tree leans on the landscape, and, like many trees, it has a certain character to it. This image is one of isolation, with the black form of the tree standing alone against a dramatic midday sky.  By visiting this tree again and again, I get to know it better and better, and the landscape rewards me for my efforts.

52 Weeks of Yorkshire – Week 1

It is the first week of 2017, and so here is the first of my 52 images for the 52 weeks of this year!

Craven Court.jpg
Craven Court

This image of the Craven Court shopping centre in my home town of Skipton was taken this morning, at about 7:30 am. The sleepy Yorkshire town is known for its markets, and on a market day the town comes alive with people from all over the county. This shopping centre would normally be full of people visiting the many cafes and shops inside, yet only an hour before the shops will start to open, it is almost empty, and all that can be heard are the sounds of shopkeepers chatting and opening their shops. To me this picture describes what it is like to live in a place like Skipton, rather than simply visit it for the shops and cafes. It is a scene which none of the tourists visiting the market today will see.

The shot itself was fairly simple, using only a tripod to allow for a slightly longer exposure to capture the image in the dark. Once home there was very little work to do in Lightroom, as the shot in-camera was fairly close to how I had envisioned it. First I cropped it to fit a square format, then change the colour temperature slightly (3.2k) to give it a slightly ‘colder’ look. Then I reduced saturation slightly, to really accentuate the ‘flat’ look of the scene.

Overall, I am very happy with this as the first shot of my 52-week project, and I look forward to finishing exams next week when I get back to York so I can start work on the second!